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Community Recognizes 2020 Northern Nevada Nurses of Achievement

Every year, the Northern Nevada Nurses of Achievement Committee recognizes registered nurses (RNs) from across the community to celebrate their accomplishments and further the nursing profession. The committee just announced the 2020 award winners, including seven high-performing nurses from Renown Health.

Nurses are at the forefront of the care teams working through the COVID-19 pandemic and 2020 has been fittingly declared the “International Year of the Nurse and Midwife” by the World Health Organization. Celebrating our nurses is more important this year than ever, and Renown is proud to be home to seven of the 2020 Northern Nevada Nurses of Achievement winners in the following categories:

Clinical Leadership: Jenny Garcia, RN, BSN, supervisor of nursing in the orthopedics unit at Renown Regional Medical Center;
Critical Care: Olivia Cartwright, RN, BSN, bedside nurse in the intensive care unit at Renown Regional Medical Center;
Lifetime Achievement: Cheryl Jameson, RN, bedside nurse in the general surgical unit at Renown South Meadows Medical Center;
Office & Outpatient: Kathleen Neilan, RN, BCN, OCN, cancer nurse navigator at Renown Institute for Cancer;
Oncology and Infusion Services: Paola Espinoza, RN, BSN, supervisor of nursing in the cancer nursing unit at Renown Regional Medical Center;
Rookie of the Year: Tamara Slater, RN, BSN, bedside nurse in the general surgical unit at Renown Regional Medical Center;
Renown Facility Winner: Chelsea Zielinski, RN, MSN, clinical nurse educator in the neonatal intensive care unit at Renown Regional Medical Center.

From a pool of over 400 publicly-nominated nurses who provide care across northern Nevada’s care facilities and hospitals, the Committee announced a total of 14 award winners during a virtual awards celebration on Friday, Aug. 28.

Anthony D. Slonim, RN, MD, DrPH, FACHE; President and CEO of Renown, who worked as a registered nurse in an Emergency Department earlier in his career says, “We appreciate the work that every nurse does every day, not only for the patient in the hospital, but in all of the other settings where people come to learn how to live healthier lives. Nurses have direct influence on the outcomes of every patient, and I congratulate all 14 nurses for their exceptional achievements.” He adds, “The real winners are those patients, families, colleagues and community members who are cared for by these exceptional nursing professionals.”

“We’re proud to celebrate our community’s nurses and all they do to care for patients and their loved ones,” said Jana Elliott, Associate Chief Nursing Officer, Acute Care Services. “Nursing is a true calling to serve others and there are so many incredible ways nurses go beyond their duty to provide the best care despite the intense nature of the pandemic.”

“Nurses are at the core of our care teams; they provide compassionate care and advocate for patients and their loved ones in a time of need,” said Melodie Osborn, Chief Nursing Officer, Health Services. “The Northern Nevada Nurses of Achievement awards are a longstanding way of honoring our community’s most compassionate nurses.”

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A career built on love.

We all choose our careers for different reasons. A natural talent, a unique interest, or a passion we can’t deny. Joe, a clinical respiratory therapist at Renown Health, came to his calling in a very personal way -– choosing to enter the field after his son passed away from respiratory issues.

He started his career here as a respiratory aide while he was still in school. “I had the chance to work in multiple departments,” Joe tells us. “After school, I went through the Respiratory Apprentice Program which helped me grow my career at Renown.” Today, he is a clinical respiratory therapist at Renown Children’s Hospital, where he passionately helps other kids and families fight the good fight.

Outside of work Joe enjoys an active lifestyle. “I live in north Reno on 50 acres and enjoy working on my property,” he says. “I also like to hunt, fish and camp. In addition, I volunteer for Nevada Bighorns Unlimited and have been a member of the board there.”

If you’re looking for a place where you can love your work — and life — as a respiratory therapist, come fight the good fight with us. Apply online now at: https://careers.renown.org/job-search-results/?keyword=respiratory

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Amazing since day one.

Nafisha had always wanted to be a nurse, and she found her opportunity here at Renown Health. She started as a Certified Nursing Assistant Apprentice, which taught her the basics of patient care.

“I was so fortunate to be part of the CNA Apprentice Program. My experience confirmed and validated my love for nursing,” says Nafisha. “I heard about the Nurse Apprenticeship while I was still in the CNA program.”

“Renown has been amazing to me in every way since day one,” she continues. “First, they helped me obtain my CNA license and then with tuition reimbursement so I could attend nursing school. I am at this point in my life because of the guidance and support I received.”

During Nafisha’s Nurse Apprenticeship, she worked in labor and delivery, which was the specialty she wanted to pursue. “It allowed me to be hands on and observe the flow of the unit,” she explains. “My supervisors and managers were so helpful too. They worked with my schedule so I could attend school at the same time.”

As part of the Renown nursing team, Nafisha has also learned what it means to fight the good fight. “It’s about doing the right thing, and providing the best care for our patients and their family members. After all, I’m a mom myself, with two little boys.”

If you would like to explore opportunities for a nursing career, visit the Nevada Apprenticeship Project page at http://www.nvapprenticeship.org/students/#cna

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Respect, recognition, and a rewarding career at Hometown Health.

There are many reasons that Samantha, a customer service representative with Hometown Health, enjoys her career here. “The people and the environment are amazing,” she exclaims. “You are always shown respect and when you do something you are recognized for your accomplishments.”

One of Samantha’s accomplishments is going to school for her degree in Healthcare Management. “Not only does the tuition reimbursement help immensely, my leaders are always helping me obtain new skills that can further my goals,” she says with a smile.

There are also other benefits that make a difference in her life as a busy mom. Samantha shares that she has three kids, including two boys with ADHD, saying that “the health insurance is a big help as they are always getting hurt while playing around. The paid time off benefits are important too, as there are a lot of functions and parent-teacher conferences that I need to attend at their school. I don’t have to worry about losing out on that time at work.”

Hometown Health is the insurance division of Renown Health, and serves as Nevada’s largest, locally owned, not-for-profit insurance company. Employees like Samantha make a genuine difference in the health and well-being of our communities as we fight the good fight together.

“Knowing that I work for a company that will never give up on a person or a family like mine means everything to me,” she tells us. “That is the kind of place that I want to be part of.”

If you are looking for a rewarding career where you can have a positive impact on the lives of others, consider joining us at Hometown Health too. Learn more at: https://www.hometownhealth.com/careers-hometown-health/

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It’s About Helping Others

Jess is a Contact Center Specialist here at Renown Health. Each day, she works to serve the people of our community.

“I work to help patients access care and become informed of resources that may be available to them,” Jess explains. “That’s how I help to fight the good fight here at Renown.”

She does a great job and is part of our high potential program, which provides career development. “There are many opportunities for growth here,” she says. “I love that about Renown. Also, that each employee is truly appreciated as an individual.”

If you love helping others, you can have a positive impact on our community too. Learn more when you apply online at: https://careers.renown.org/job/10723083/contact-center-specialist-reno-nv/

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From Oncology Nursing to Clinical IT: A Healthcare Career Journey

When Brandi began her career as a Nurse Apprentice at Renown Health, little did she know where that path would lead.

“I started here while I was still in nursing school,” she says. “My hiring leader and fellow oncology nurses were true role models, shaping the nurse I have become today. Renown has supported me in many roles — from a bedside nurse, to a leader, and now in my role in clinical IT as a Senior Application Specialist.”

Brandi explains that one reason she transitioned to Information Technology from a nursing leadership role was an opportunity to spend more time with her family. “A flexible schedule allows me to be present with my family, making them a priority, without compromising my career.”

“Stepping away from direct patient care and beginning an entirely new role was intimidating, but it has challenged me to grow outside of my comfort zone,” she continues. “I quickly realized I could provide the same positive impact to patient lives, although much of my work is behind the scenes.”

Even though her role has changed, Brandi never forgets where she started her career as an oncology nurse. “Cancer patients are truly my heroes. They inspire me to be a better person and professional. With each project I complete, I consider the patient and evaluate the downstream effects. I fight the good fight so that the bedside clinicians have the tools to provide safe, quality care to their patients in a confident manner.”

Are you a nurse interested in clinical IT? Or an IT professional interested in healthcare? You can learn more about our work at Renown Health here: https://careers.renown.org/career-areas/information-technology/

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We’re more than a Call Center team. We are patient advocates.

A career in our Call Center at Renown Health means always being there for our patients, working on their questions and concerns. It means helping them fight the good fight by making sure we take care of all their health and wellness needs.

Telemedicine Scheduler, Danara, fights the good fight by “going above standard workflow and putting my effort into every interaction I have. It’s making the difference between providing ‘okay’ services and giving ‘amazing’ service.”

“In the healthcare industry, we face many emotional situations and have to ensure every interaction receives top-quality care. No matter the situation with an employee, patient, office or project, I will put in 110% effort to ensure it is completed properly, even if it takes extra time, Because at the end of the day, at the Contact Center, we are our patients’ advocate and make a difference in their lives.”

“I chose to work at Renown for the growth opportunities, and because of the personal connections I could have through my interactions here,” Danara continues. “I feel the hospital industry is something everyone needs and there is stability when it comes to a career. Renown provides a lot of growth with areas I can move into to become what I inspire to be.”

Danara appreciates the support and motivation she receives to grow as an employee here. “I have never had so much opportunity to get advice from leaders,” she says. “The career advising program, training, and supervisor one-on-one time is extremely crucial in building loyalty. Renown has the tools and resources for all employees to grow and I truly appreciate the time everyone has taken with me. I feel that I am building my roots here to grow, and that is what I value most in an organization.”

Danara’s ultimate goal is to be promoted into a position where she can become an expert and enjoy a long-term career. What are your goals? And how might a Call Center career at Renown help you fulfill them?

Find out when you apply online.

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Kayla paved her own career path. You can too.

There is no limit to what you can do and where you can grow here at Renown Health. Just take it from Kayla, who has had four different jobs since first joining us as a Patient Access Representative in 2016.

“When I began my full-time career at Renown, I was also attending school at UNR part-time,” Kayla tells us. “I took comfort in knowing I worked for a company that wanted me to succeed. Renown was flexible ensuring I had work/life balance. Because of that, I was able to do work I was passionate about while also becoming the first person in my family to receive a Bachelor’s degree.”

Kayla progressed in her career, first as a Business Intern for Imaging and then as a Breast Health Coordinator. “Throughout my career with Renown, I have had the opportunity to hold different positions within the organization. This allowed for insight into many areas of the health system,” explains Kayla.

“Every single one of my leaders pushed for me to succeed. Encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and into the unknown. They provided me opportunities to shadow other departments, build great relationships with mentors, and attend Renown University classes to grow my professional skills”

Today, Kayla is a Transformational Health Care Consultant and continues to advance her knowledge each day. “I would like to become the best consultant that I can be, transforming healthcare in a way that touches not only our patients but our fellow employees,” she says. “My ultimate goal is to become a leader and mentor for others, just like those who helped me feel empowered to excel and succeed.”

We’re excited when employees like Kayla achieve their goals and dreams. If you’re looking for a supportive workplace where you can thrive to your full potential, look no further than Renown Health. Search jobs and apply online today!

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Travel no more: These nurses found their home with us.

We love our traveling nurses. But we love it, even more, when they convert to full-time hires and become part of our health system. Meet Denvey, Chrissy and Alana, three RNs who did just that!

Denvey, a Registered Nurse who grew up in Ohio, became a Travel Nurse to find a new home. “I was very nervous driving 2,400 miles to a new city where I knew no one,” she says about her assignment at Renown. “But I was immediately welcomed by staff in the Roseview surgery department. They made me feel like a family member and made sure I never spent a weekend alone. I loved my experience so much, that I extended my contract twice.”

She ultimately joined us as a permanent part of our nursing staff. “I loved the Renown system and all of the opportunities it had to offer to employees,” Denvey explains. “I also love the outdoors, and the Reno area is breathtaking with so much to offer.”

Pediatric Registered Nurse Chrissy also came to Renown on her first travel assignment. And just like Denvey, she never left! “I love the people I work with,” she tells us about her decision to join us. “It’s nice to know when I go into work, that it’s a team effort and you are never alone. Plus, Reno has some great weather, beautiful mountains and lakes, and friendly people.”

Alana, on the other hand, was an experienced Travel Nurse when she came to Reno, working at seven different hospitals before settling down at Renown. “I was pleasantly surprised by both Renown and the Reno-Tahoe area. Of all the places I traveled, I felt most at home here among the mountains and lakes,” says Alana.

She knew what she was looking for and found it. “Renown has a good amount of resources for nursing, as well as opportunities for growth and learning. I tailor my nursing care to each individual patient,” Alana continues. “I love to find out about their family, pets, and hobbies so I know what drives them. I love the people in Reno. Everyone is so warm and inviting.”

If you’re a Travel Nurse who wants to try somewhere different – and maybe just find your new home – we would love to have you here! Learn more about nursing careers at Renown Health!

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How David Brewed Up a New Career Path at Renown Health.

When David first joined Renown as a Barista, he wasn’t sure exactly what the future might bring. But he did know that he had people in his corner who would help him succeed.

“Carrie, my first manager here, saw potential in me,” says David. “She pushed me to become more involved in Renown and helped me join the Wellness Champions. She also helped me win Starbucks’ 2019 District Barista Championship and place in Starbucks’ 2019 Regional Barista Championship.”

“After Carrie, Stephanie became my manager. Even though she was brand new to Renown, she encouraged me to follow my dreams and pursue what made me happy. Ultimately, she was the one who encouraged me to apply for my current role as Supervisor of Retail. Now, Gino is my manager. He pushes me to think critically and has helped me develop my leadership style. He always encourages me to contribute new ideas and has given me lots of room for growth.”

“One of the things that I’m most grateful for is Gino’s sense of understanding,” continues David. “Being in a new role, I’m bound to make mistakes, but I feel that I have the freedom to grow and learn from those mistakes.” As to where he would like for his learning and growth to lead, David isn’t quite sure yet.

“I truly love coming into work,” he says. “I’m so lucky to get to say that I want to come into work instead of have to, so I don’t think I’m going to be actively looking for that next step for a little bit. If I had to choose today, based on my experiences so far, I’d love to eventually transition into a Human Resources role – either in Benefits or Recruiting – and earn my SPHR or SHRM-CP in the future.”

We love David’s hopeful attitude toward his career at Renown and his determination to continue following his dreams. He’s the perfect example of how our supportive culture helps employees reach higher, learn more and build rewarding careers.

If you’d like to work in a place where people are determined to help one another succeed, apply online now at https://careers.renown.org/